04/21/11 — Fremont approves new bingo hall

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Fremont approves new bingo hall

By Gary Popp
Published in News on April 21, 2011 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- The Fremont Town Board of Aldermen approved rezoning and a permit for a beach bingo business at its meeting Monday.

The bingo hall would be located at 101 Wilson St. in downtown Fremont.

Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said the town is interested in helping any new business that would bring revenue to the town.

"We want to help business and want things to be business friendly," McDuffie said.

"They want to do the business, and it is reasonable use for a business," McDuffie said. "The biggest issue is parking and the traffic it could generate."

The approval generated some opposition from Heritage Bank, which is located nearby. A bank representative said Heritage officials are concerned about overflow parking in the bank's parking lot. The board made the rezoning and permit conditional on customers of the beach bingo hall being restricted from parking on the bank's property.

In other business, the board approved increasing the speed limit on portions of U.S. 117 leading into and out of town. The change will increase the 35 mph zones to 45 mph for nearly one-third of a mile on the north and south ends of town. The change will create a buffer for drivers traveling 55 mph on U.S. 117 who suddenly find themselves in a 35 mph zone once inside the city, McDuffie said.

The change will take effect after the state Department of Transportation erects signs to indicate the new speed limits, he added.

Also, board members rejected seeking further assistance from the Small Town Main Street program.

Town officials attended a meeting earlier in the year that makes Fremont eligible to be selected for the state-sponsored town beautification project.

The program consists of state officials coming to Fremont and helping town officials and community members create plans to spur historic preservation and economic growth through planning and accessing state funds.

But the board balked at a requirement that the town spend $3,000 to pay the travel expenses of the state officials.

Meanwhile, town officials said, the annual budget planning process is being held up by Wayne County tax officials, who have not released the results of the county-wide revaluation of property. County officials have said the new valuations will be mailed to property owners within a few weeks.

McDuffie said that the town intends to maintain a balanced budget for 2011-12 that will not require raising the tax rate or withdrawing money from the town's general fund.